Ranking all the major hardware Apple released in 2018 [Cult of Mac Magazine No. 277]

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Cult of Mac Magazine No. 277
Ranking Apple's hardware releases in 2018.
Cover: Marty Cortinas/Cult of Mac

It’s been one heck of a busy year for Apple, and we’ve got the devices to prove it! Truth be told, despite Apple’s fluctuating share price, this has been one of the company’s best years in a while for hardware. What was the cream of the 2018 Apple crop? Here’s how we rank Apple’s major new product launches for 2018.

Find the best goods from 2018 and learn how to set up all your new hardware in the latest free issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. Get it now on iTunes, or keep reading for the week’s best Apple news, reviews and how-tos.

How to fix your parents’ messed-up computers when home for the holidays [Cult of Mac Magazine No. 276]

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Cult of Mac Magazine No. 276 cover
Get ready to fix your parents' computer.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Christmas time means packing up your daily troubles, forgetting work for a week, and heading home to … troubleshoot your parents’ broken computers and gadgets? Oh man, is it that time of year again already? That’s the problem with being the family’s only geek — you get handed all the geek jobs. However, you can turn this to your advantage, and make it a lot easier, by going in prepared.

Find out how to be the family tech support in the latest free issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. Get it now on iTunes, or keep reading for the week’s best Apple news, reviews and how-tos.

Get drawing tips as we cover WWDC with sketchnotes

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Andy McNally/ Cult of Mac
Andy McNally/ Cult of Mac

“Sketchnotes” are an increasingly popular form of visual note-taking. By combining text and images, sketchnotes are not only beautiful, but often easier to recall than text alone. The technique is an effective way of capturing notes and ideas in the classroom, meetings and conferences.

All next week, illustrator and senior UX/UI designer Andy McNally will be sketchnoting Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) for us, starting with the big keynote on Monday.

Andy has been covering Apple’s events as sketchnotes for some time. We ran some of his sketchnotes from last year’s event, which proved very popular. He’s back again this year, and is planning to publish sketchnotes from a variety of sessions at the conference.

Before he gets started, Andy shared some tips and techniques for getting started on sketchnoting yourself. Let’s take a look:

iOS widgets: 6 of the best to replace Apple’s own

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These apps' iOS widgets will give your iPhone superpowers.
These apps' iOS widgets will give your iPhone superpowers.
Photo: Gilles Lambert/Unsplash CC

iOS widgets are a great way to check in on your day. Apple gave us its own take on widgets with the core apps built into iOS 10, but you can do better.

If you’ve never taken a look at some of the great third-party iOS widgets available, you’re missing out. Here are six of our favorite iOS widgets to replace the stock Apple widgets. (If you don’t know how to add widgets, go to the bottom of this post for instructions on adding and using them.)

How to get the most out of Instagram

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These Instagram tips will help you connect with photographers who share your interests.
We don’t want to see photos from everyone we follow.
Photo: Lee Peterson/Cult of Mac

Instagram isn’t simply a social network for sharing images. Used properly, it’s a powerful tool for connecting with like-minded photographers and getting feedback about your images.

I’m passionate about photography, and finding communities I can engage with is really important when it comes to helping me improve and get ideas for new projects. These Instagram tips and tricks, which I use on a daily basis, can really help you grow as a photographer.

How to use Night Shift while saving power

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iPhone 6s Night Shift Low Power Mode
Oh, yeah. It's possible.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

We’ve been using Night Shift on our iPhones and iPads since it launched with iOS 9.3. We aren’t sure if it actually promotes good sleep, but we figure that lowering the amount of blue light that hits us after the sun goes down can’t be a bad idea. The only problem we’ve had with it is pretty simple, though: You can’t use it while Low Power Mode is on.

Low Power Mode is another cool feature; it turns off high-consumption stuff like Siri’s hands-free mode, mail fetch, and automatic downloads to stretch your battery life out until you can get your ailing iPhone to a charger. We assume that the reason you can’t run both simultaneously is that Night Shift is a juice-chugger, but we still miss it when our battery hits a critical low at night. But it is possible to have them both on at once. You just have to trick Siri a little.

Here’s how to do it.

8 killer Instagram tips and tricks

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InstagramCloseiPhone
Become an Insta-master with these killer Instagram tips and tricks.
Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

Make the most of your Instagram feed with these eight killer Instagram tips and tricks that will make you an Insta-master.

Learn how to put together video in the Instagram app itself, keep stalkers off your Instagram feed, find amazing photos near your current location, and much more.

How to streamline your Touch ID setup

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iPhone
The iPhone is Time's most influential gadget of all time.
Photo: andri333 / Pixabay CC

If you’re setting up your new iPhone for the first time, one of your must-do steps will be setting up Touch ID. Apple’s biometric security system lets you map your own fingerprint to the Home button so nobody can unlock your device but you (or the bad person who has gained control of your thumb somehow, but that’s a bit grim).

When I set up my Touch ID the first time, I mapped the thumbs of both hands separately, and that was a good idea because I frankly have no idea which side my phone is going to be on when I want to get into it. And that’s served me well, but we’ve found an even more efficient way to do that same thing thanks to some sharp internet investigators.

Change your Apple Watch language in a flash

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Force touch Apple Watch
Here's a hint.
Photo: Apple

This tip won’t help everyone, but it should be a huge timesaver for multilingual users: You can change your Apple Watch language for Messages with just a couple quick taps. And you can do it directly on the device without having to go into the companion app on your phone.

Here’s how to make it happen.